I am very interested in pursuing a career in teaching. What does this look like?
The Teacher Prep Program (TPP) is actually quite an eye-opening experience to education in the States. When you finish the program, you receive a New Jersey Certificate of Advanced Standing and then a standard license after a year of teaching. They’re also helpful about getting you certified in other states if you choose that route.
The program itself…
In whatever field you choose certification, you need 8 Princeton courses. So if you want to become a history teacher, you would need 8 history/social analysis courses. In addition, you need to take the Psychology of Education and TPP 301 (an overview of teaching and the program). You will actually write a lesson plan and teach it in a local school for 301, but it’s not a huge deal and quite fun. In both classes, you do tons of hours of observations – I think about 12 hours for each class – in all sorts of schools. There is an introductory practicum for people who are considering the program. You travel to a local public school and talk with students and administrators.
After you complete those two courses, most people finish senior year and come back for a semester to complete student teaching and TPP 401, which discusses theory of teaching and how that compares to your actual student teaching experience. In 401 and 301, TPP alumni and local teachers give talks on many different topics. It’s great to learn what they are doing in their classrooms. You really get to know the other student teachers in your cohort as well.
I hope this is a good introduction for you. Let me know if you have other questions.